Conspiracy Theories About Wall Street and the Economy  

Isadora Teich
4.5k views 14 items

Whether you believe in conspiracy theories or not, it's no secret everyone loves them. Hell, a few economic conspiracies have become so widely accepted some consider them factual. A number of conspiracy theories about Wall Street and global finance have even been proven true, and migrated from the realm of paranoid speculation to historical fact. 

Where there's power, money, and high stakes, imaginations, and people with agendas, run wild. While some of these Wall Street conspiracies and economic myths come from internet weirdos, religious zealots, and general ignorance, some were started by the the world's financial hot shots themselves. 

The economy and finance are complex, yet play such a large part in our daily lives it's not surprising many people do their best to fill in the blanks in their knowledge. Sometimes, those blanks are filled with alien lizards; sometimes, ideas aren't so outlandish. To check out some of the zaniest, dumbest, most detailed, and, occasionally, horrifyingly correct economic conspiracy theories out there, read on. 
Goldman Sachs: Giant Vampire Squid?
Goldman Sachs: Giant Vampire S... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Conspiracy Theories About Wall Street and the Economy
Photo: americans4financialreform/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

In July 2009, Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi referred to Goldman Sachs as "a giant vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity." Every time anything major happens in the financial or political world and it can't be proven Goldman Sachs' pulled the trigger, everyone assumes they did anyway.

Beyond the conspiracy theories, it's well known that Goldman Sachs made sure disgraced New York Stock Exchange chief executive Richard Grasso got the ax. The firm is also often cited as pulling Hillary Clinton's strings.  Some, including Taibbi, believe Goldman has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression
There Is a Jewish Conspiracy to Control All the World's Money
There Is a Jewish Conspiracy t... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Conspiracy Theories About Wall Street and the Economy
Photo: German Federal Archives/Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-S33882 / CC-BY-SA 3.0
Antisemitism may seem like a thing of the past to some in 21st century America, making this theory seem particularly ridiculous, but it's an idea some ultra-conservatives, white nationalists, Muslim extremists, and conspiracy theorists still believe. There are people who will tell you with a straight face that Jews control the US Federal Reserve, and therefore Wall Street, and all of global finance. The Rothschild name is often tied into the theory. This old Jewish banking family has been accused of everything from having global dominion to being lizard-aliens, and are often depicted in mocking, demeaning, antisemitic ways. 
Stock Market Rigging Is Real, But Who's Doing It and Why?
Stock Market Rigging Is Real, ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Conspiracy Theories About Wall Street and the Economy
Photo:  Emilfaro/Wikimedia Commons

There was a time when people who claimed the stock market was rigged were laughed at. That time has passed. Over the better part 2000s, stock prices rushed so far ahead of economic reality that, even if most experts can't agree on, or aren't exactly sure how, things are rigged, or what the affects will be, they recognize that the fix is in.

Ed Yardeni, a veteran Wall Street guru, has said that the Federal Reserve and the US Government will do everything they can (including rigging the market) to prop up Wall Street, though no one knows how long this can last. While the fix being in keeps things afloat, it has led to an unfair market, in which it's hard to know what any stock is worth..
The US Engineered China's 2015 Financial Roller Coaster Ride
The US Engineered China's ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Conspiracy Theories About Wall Street and the Economy
Photo: sama093/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
In 2015, China's markets crashed, and proved to be among the most volatile in the world, prompting conspiracy theories from outside observers and the Chinese themselves. It's unclear whether theories from China were generated by independent citizens or individuals hired by the government to post in order to help shape public opinion. From this wave of theories arose the idea that the US engineered the volatility to make China and communism look bad. According to the West, the turbulence was the result of the Chinese government playing the market opportunistically, rather than focusing on building a healthy stock market for the long term.